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Consultation into Wirral Council cuts ends today
MORE than 6,200 people have taken part in a major consultation into Wirral Council spending cuts.
The three-month “What Really Matters” exercise will close at 5pm today.
The local authority has been seeking views on which areas it should prioritise for savings.
Wirral is facing massive budget reductions and its 4,800 staff are bracing themselves for controversial changes to their employment contracts.
The workforce will be asked to accept changes to terms and conditions including reduced hours and – crucially – reduced redundancy payments.
Around 3,000 letters have been sent out advising staff their jobs are “at risk".
Officials have estimated that up to 500 staff will be made redundant.
As the consultation began, the council’s chief executive Graham Burgess warned that unless contract changes were accepted by trade unions, it would be impossible to lower costs to a sufficient level and up to 900 workers would have to go.
Mr Burgess also admitted compulsory severance, although still seen as a last resort, “would be hard to avoid.”
The first tranche of cuts will be discussed at cabinet on February 18 and decisions where the axe should fall will be made at a meeting of the full council on March 5.
The target for savings this year is in the region of £41m, but by 2015 the council will be expected to have reduced spending by £107m.